Recently, I was listening to a speaker give a great message. The content was very practical and the message very clear. However, throughout the speech I kept wanting him to look up more. I wanted to see his eyes. For the majority of the 60 minutes he spoke with his eyes glued on his notes.  Unfortunately, this scenario is very typical among speakers. A few weeks ago you learned that the most important word as a speaker is the word “you.”  This week you will learn how to take the power of that word one step further.


What is important to realize is that as a speaker you job is not simply to give information but also to impart transformation.  Even though you tailor your wording so that you are using the word, “you” as you address the audience, you also need to be mindful that making regular eye contact will serve to deepen the connection even further.  Did you know that over 90% of communication is non-verbal? That means that the words you say is only a small fraction of what sticks with your audience.


For many years I worked as a Speech Language Pathologist, specializing in Accent Reduction Coaching.  Much of what makes up an accent is found in the way vowels are pronounced, and in the intonation that accompanies the words. In addition to the intonation, tone and variety in the voice, what you do with your body is a critical piece in effectively connecting with your audience. You will learn more about delivery tips in a later week. For now, lets focus on the eyes.


World Class Speakers practice this simple rule: “Speak to one, look to all!”  That means that as a speaker you need to maintain significant amount of eye contact by scanning the audience looking at the people regularly. As you do, you will be deliberately and naturally moving around the audience with your eyes as you are speaking.  There will be times when it will be more effective to briefly focus on one person with your eyes for emphasis. For example, You may say “What would you do if you only had 30 secs to make that decision?” and briefly pause while looking in the eyes of one audience member and then scanning the room as the whole audience reflects on what they would do.


Most speakers stay glued to their notes because they are more concerned with getting the information out accurately rather than being a catalyst for transformation. If you want to stand out as a speaker with impact, go one step further in your preparations:  don’t just memorize it, internalize it!


Remember your message is about your audience and what they walk away with, not about you and what you know. Internalizing your message will help give you freedom to focus more on connecting with your audience.


This week, use this tip to improve the connection:  “Look to all, speak to one.”


Have a Fabulous Week!


Keep letting the REAL  U…..Speak Through!

Lisa Vanderkwaak M.Sc.

Certified  World Class Speaking Coach

REAL U Institute™

“Equipping you to Communicate with Passion, Purpose and Transformational Impact”

To book Lisa to speak at your next group training or as a Keynote,  contact her at www.REALUInstitute.com

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